What K–12 IT Leaders Really Think About the Cloud


Reposted from EdTech Focus on K-12:

K–12 IT leaders are seeing some serious benefits from the cloud — particularly in the flexibility, operational agility and cost savings that cloud services can offer. Some services remain more popular in the cloud for K–12 districts than other services do. For example, respondents said that email and storage are the most widely used cloud services, while also being the easiest to transition to. Enterprise planning and internal applications remain low on the list of cloud adoption in schools.

Cloud computing can make lives easier for users, but there are a few persistent barriers to adoption. Thirty-five percent of K–12 IT respondents chose security as the greatest challenge to implementing additional cloud services; trust in available solutions took second place, at 29 percent.

Security risks for cloud solutions remain, but CDW says they are addressable with risk-mitigation practices. The company recommends these four steps to help keep cloud data more secure…

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Venture Capital Investing in K-12


Reposted from BostInno:

K-12 ed-tech startups saw a 32 percent increase in venture capital over the previous year, securing $642 million in 2014, according to a blog post published by Vivek Murali, an associate partner at nonprofit venture philanthropy firm NewSchools. Helping fuel that growth were Desire2Learn, Harvard alumni-founded Clever and Remind, which raised $85 million, $40.3 million and $55 million in 2014, respectively.

Over the last two years the K-12 ed-tech sector has seen the median Series B round size increase by 49 percent, with several founders focused on how they can tweak the freemium model in a way that benefits teachers, but also helps them turn a profit. There is an increase in companies offering options for free or low-cost teacher adoption that are accompanied by premium site- or district-wide licenses.

Trends shaking up the K-12 space, according to NewSchools, include: “home-to-school communication platforms,” such as ClassDojo and FreshGrade, which streamline communication between parents and educators in an age where one in every five people in the world own a smartphone; and data analytics tools, such as Boston’s Ellevation Education, which raised $2 million in July to help schools better assess English Language Learners’ performance and readiness.

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This Video Made a Statement 7 Years Ago… [VIDEO 4:10]

How far have we come? How much does your classroom reflect the ideals shared by students in this video? Why haven’t we made more progress?

In a recent presentation I gave at the Systems Change Conference, I presented this reality, and suggested “It’s OK. Institutional change takes time.” A good friend and colleague of mine, Sherry Hughley Crofut, spoke up and challenged me. “But Walter, why? WHY is it OK?” She is right. I may want to use historical context to soften the OUCH of this video, but ultimately it’s not OK. Our children are the ones losing out. It’s time to push through to the promise of new learning, new creating, and new success.

The Reality Of K-12 Mobile Technology


Reposted from te@chthought:

2014 National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education

“Mobile technology now has a substantial presence in most school districts. 2014 continued the trend of steady growth in mobile technology adoption, with additional growth very likely in the next two years. The number of 1-to-1 mobile implementations has grown but still represents the typical implementation in only about one-fifth of all districts. The chief barrier to wider 1-to-1 adoption seems to be financial, as most districts are interested if they could afford it. District interest in purchasing tablets and/or Chromebooks is also high.

Many districts look to mobile technology to increase student achievement and make learning more engaging and personalized. However, many districts also report challenges in implementing mobile technology related to teacher lack of knowledge or experience, need for professional development and implementation support, and mobile device management issues.

A large majority (70.8%) of the survey respondents reported that mobile technology had been adopted in about 25% or more of the schools in their district. An additional 9.3% reported that their districts were very likely to adopt mobile technology in the next 1-2 years. Respondents frequently identified several challenges to implementing mobile technology, including professional development and implementation support for teachers/teacher lack of knowledge or experience; mobile device management; bandwidth, Wifi connectivity, and/or technology infrastructure; and breakage, damage to devices, repair.”

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